If You Want To Be Alive... Read My Lips!

Tue 31 Mar 2020 7-8PM


About the event

Visual artist and jewellery maker Maral Mamaghanizadeh presents a unique live performance, inspired by her life experiences as a Deaf woman seeking asylum in the UK.

In If You Want to Be Alive… Read My Lips, the audience will be invited to wear specially crafted earpieces designed by Mamaghanizadeh and created by bone china artist Chris Wight.

Using Mamaghanizadeh’s ear jewellery, participants will engage with a soundscape of music and poetry created in collaboration with sound designer Chris Bartholomew — to deepen an understanding of how it feels to communicate through lip reading. The night will include poetry performances in Farsi, English and British Sign Language (BSL).

Through this interactive performance Mamaghanizadeh asks her audience to consider issues around voice, sound and translation.

event postponed

Due to concerns over the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus), Autograph is temporarily closing until further notice.

Our exhibitions and events are postponed, but we look forward to welcoming you back later in the year.

If you have booked a free ticket to this event, your ticket will still be accepted when we reopen and the event is rescheduled.

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About Maral Mamaghanizadeh

Mamaghanizadeh is an Iranian artist, awarded an MA in jewellery and silversmithing from the School of jewellery, Birmingham City University in 2017. After completing her MA, Mamaghanizadeh became a political refugee as her work, The Politics of Voice; The Tale of Tresses directly challenged the patriarchal society in Iran.

Mamaghanizadeh was artist in residence at Grand Union 2017 - 2018. In March 2018 she was selected for Talente Munich Award, at Polyphonous: Counterpoint exhibition in Munich. In June 2018 she presented a short performance art piece Politics of Voice at Soapboxes & Riceboxes, Migrant Festival at Ikon Gallery, Birmingham; playing with the immediate judgements people make of migrants and showed audiences how to sign 'Iran' and revealed the difficulty migrants have with communication.

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In July 2018 Mamaghanizadeh lead a workshop for adults at IKON Gallery called Making Knots and in August 2018 took part in Punch Records young artists residency, Gallery 37, exhibiting work and leading a series of interventions at Centrala Space, Birmingham.

She was then awarded her first project grant from Arts Council England to develop her work in ceramics, and has recently been awarded a Developing your Creative Practice grant also from Arts Council England. Mamaghanizadeh recently became a member of STEAMhouse, Birmingham.


Visit Maral Mamaghanizadeh's instagram

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Find out more about the exhibition

About Chris Wight

Born in Glasgow 1967, Chris Wight grew up by the sea on the west coast of Scotland. Bone china has been his material of choice for over twenty years. He undertook an MA in Industrial Ceramics at Staffordshire University, Stoke-on-Trent, where he was trained by designers and modellers from Wedgwood and Royal Doulton. Enjoying the technical challenges of working with this alluring yet ‘recalcitrant’ clay body he adopts ‘high-risk’ techniques to push the clay to its limits and utilises new technologies to create his works and discover new modes of expression with this most traditional of clays.

His output includes vessel forms, panels, screens and sculptures with works at both domestic and architectural scale. The largest being the chapel doors created for The Minster School in his hometown of Southwell, Nottinghamshire at four metres in height by six metres in width and comprising over 4,500 handmade bone china discs.

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In the UK, Wight has exhibited at venues such as Sotheby’s, the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Saatchi Gallery, in numerous shows in Europe including with Bernardaud, in Limoges along with group and solo exhibitions in Japan and Korea. He has also recently started showing work in the USA with Garth Clark.

Writing in Ceramic Review Judy Adams stated - "He is one of that rare breed of designer makers whose output transcends categorisation, who works with a range of materials, and shifts easily from traditional tools and techniques to the latest technology”. @chris_wight_ceramics

About Chris Bartholomew

Chris Bartholomew is a composer and sound designer based in South London. Focusing on devised work and new writing, Bartholomew's credits include East is East at Northern Stage, 4.48 Psychosis, Horrible Histories: Dreadful Deaf, and Contractions by Deafinately Theatre, Beweeped, Outcast at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama and Light and Bucket List with Theatre Ad Infinitum.

As a composer, Bartholomew has written for various ensembles with his blend of acoustic sound and electronics. He has been commissioned by the London Acapella Festival, Portsmouth Festivities and the London Mozart Players, to create works for concert hall, cathedral and helipad. Bartholomew has worked with Hofesh Shechter Company as touring sound engineer.

Accessibility at AUTOGRAPH

Everyone is welcome at Autograph. Our building Rivington Place is an accessible space with a step-free entrance at street level, and a lift to all floors. Unisex, accessible toilets are located on all floors.

This event will take place in Gallery 2 on the second floor. Seating is not reserved in advance. If you would like to reserve seating to assist with hearing, visual or any other access needs, please contact us before your visit.

Carers receive a free ticket when they accompany the person they care for. Please contact us to book.

If you would like a social narrative for this event, please get in touch and we will create one for you.

Download our Accessibility Guide for detailed access information about our venue and transport. If you would like to discuss your visit, or have any questions, please contact us at or 020 7749 9200

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Part of the EXPLORERS project, delivered by Project Art Works, a three-year programme of art and conversation working with 12 national art organisations. The EXPLORERS programme is informed and led by neurodiverse communities, placing them at the heart of social, civic and cultural activity. Based in Hastings, Project Art Works is the UK’s leading artist led organisation working with children, young people and adults who have complex support needs.


Autograph's events are popular, and often sell out. We cannot guarantee that tickets will be available on the door, and recommend booking a ticket in advance. If you need to cancel your ticket for any reason, you can receive a refund up to 24 hours before the start of the event. Concessions tickets are available for students, those on low income, and 65+. Seating is not reserved in advance, and is on a first-come first-seated basis. You do not need to bring your paper ticket to the event.


Tickets to this event can be booked on this webpage, on Eventbrite, via the Facebook event, by phoning Autograph at 020 7729 9200, or by emailing Tickets to Autograph's events are only available through Eventbrite, Autograph, and Autograph's Facebook page. Tickets obtained unofficially or resold via social media or other platforms may not be genuine.


Please note that photography and/or filming will take place at this event. Images from this event may be used by Autograph, Sawti and external press for marketing and promotional use, including: printed and online publicity, social media, press releases, or other use.

Supported using public funding by Arts Council England
Sample Logo
Sample Logo
Also supported by Paul Hamlyn Foundation
Also supported by Esmee Fairbairn
Also supported by Esmee Fairbairn

Banner: Image courtesy of Chris Wight Ceramics.

Page images, from top left: 1) Image courtesy of Chris Wight Ceramics. 2) Image courtesy of Chris Wight Ceramics. 3) Image courtesy of Chris Wight Ceramics. 4) Chris Wight 5) Chris Bartholomew 6) Entrance to Rivington Place, home of Autograph. Photograph by Zoë Maxwell.